More news of interest to pharmacist

Pharmacists can help in fighting addiction. Pharmacists are highly-trained medication experts and play an integral role on a patient’s health care team including assisting with prevention, treatment and quality-of-life issues. Pharmacists are also one of the most accessible health care professionals, especially in rural and underserved areas where the opioid epidemic is most severe. In fact, 90 percent of Americans live within five miles of a pharmacist who can provide ongoing treatment and advice for those struggling with addiction.

When drug costs get too high, patients are skipping doses or just not taking medication, claims Kaiser Health. Experts are worried this behavior could be extremely dangerous for the patients. If medications are not taken as prescribed, patients can be doing more harm than good.

The 2019 regular session of the West Virginia Legislature concluded at midnight, March 9, 2019. During the 60-day session, the House of Delegates introduced 1,142 bills, while the Senate introduced 681. A total 294 bills completed legislative action before the final gavel fell. The Governor has until midnight, March 27 to act upon these bills. If the Governor does not approve a bill, it will become law without his signature.

No sooner had WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey been given authority by the Legislature to pursue fraud among Medicaid providers, than the Massachusetts Attorney General announced recovering over $45 million in Medicaid in that state. Fraud among health care providers included $1.7 million for unnecessary care on children by one provider and. $1.3 million for billing Medicaid for unnecessary procedures by another. Morrisey said pursuit of fraud within the almost $4 billion WV Medicaid program is necessary.

Ohio’s attorney general on Monday said he had filed a lawsuit against UnitedHealth’s OptumRx unit alleging the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) had overcharged the state for prescription drugs. The suit seeks at least $15 million in compensatory damages and $15 million in punitive damages. PBMs negotiate drug prices for employers and health plans, such as WV Public Employees Insurance Agency. They typically demand steep discounts off the drugmakers’ list price for medicines in exchange for including their products on the PBMs preferred formularies, or list of drugs approved for reimbursement.